Search

Query

Log in to VuTales

Username

Password

Sign up

Username (5-13 characters)

Password (6+ characters, and something hard to guess)

Password again

Email (Must be valid)

What is 3 + 11? (Sorry, we have to ask)

VuTales on Discord

Philosophy is Rhetoric

Written by NarutoHater on March 5, 2012
It was my first semester of philosophy. I knew it was going to be interesting, but at the same time, stupid. I went through about 14 lecture and 6 tutorials for philosophy so far, namely, Introduction to Ethics. That's about 34 hours of class attended, not to mention the countless hours required to critical summaries and essays about philosophical papers.

So here is my own critical review of philosophy. Shortened because no one likes to read paragraphs any more.

1. Philosophy is rhetoric
- everything in philosophy is questioned, which is the way of philosophy. But at the same time, there is never an answer that is satisfactory. Each major view (utilitarianism, the categorical imperative, evolutionary ethics... etc.) has their own definition of what morality is. But that doesn't matter, the point is that at the end of the day, there still is no agreement on what something as simple as happiness is. Those who do philosophy for a living achieve much less than those who send space probes to Mars.

2. Philosophy is created by crazy people
- apparently, people like Aristotle and Plato back then went around asking "Why?" to pretty much every claim society had. To be honest, even today, one can go around asking "Why?" to everything we do.
ie. Why am I writing this blog? Because I would like to express my thoughts about philosophy and how it is rhetoric. Why do I think philosophy is rhetoric? Because there is more flaws to an answer than there is solutions. Why do I dislike it? Because I just do. Why? Why ask why? Why am I not asking you why?
- At the end of all that, your back to where you started. A nice circular argument. That is precisely what philosophy is. It cannot establish and universally agreeable principle or even concept. I mean why you try to explain why things are good, you commit something called the "naturalistic fallacy" as termed by Hume. Crazy.

3. Philosophy is fun to read.
- uh... no. Who likes to read things that screw around with your mind? Unless one is high, they should stick to something less novel since we all know that novel situations induce fear and anxiety in humans, and that humans avoid such a situation. To those who enjoying their study break/reading week reading and enjoying philosophy... I suggest you to take a trip to your local psychologist and get checked out. To enjoy philosophy is like those masochists who derive pleasure from pain

4. What can you do with a philosophy major?
- Philosophy is way to abstract. You cannot get anywhere with it. You cannot experiment with philosophy to establish naturalistic laws, you cannot prove or disprove theories of philosophy with empirical data. Simply put, philosophy, just like psychology, but to a lesser extent, is quite pointless. Psychology has its merits since it can be subject to natural laws and experimentation. Philosophy just cannot. It was said that when philosophy discovers a law, it is no longer philosophy, it is a science. Well, we now know that philosophy, especially ethics, can and never be a science.
- Teach philosophy. But that, to a lesser extent, is influencing minds of the young, almost trying to assimilate their minds into thinking like the teacher.

Any ways... that was my break. Off to lab. Today, I am transforming cloned vectors into bacterial cells and then selecting specific cells using antibiotics. In other words, I am enjoying my time without philosophy =D

PS: This is not philosophy on philosophy. It is just my feelings and opinions about it. The moment I admit this is philosophy is the moment it is subject to philosophical debate and scrutiny... which I rather not. And I only took one course in philosophy... a first year course. I am, indeed, a science major.

Social media

FaceBook Reddit Stumbleupon Google Digg delicious Twitter

Blog details

Rate this blog

6
You must be logged in to vote

Actions

NarutoHater

March 5, 2012
Submitted on
1138
Views
9
Comments

NarutoHater's stats

12
Blogs
267
Blog reads
1932
ID pageviews
0
Friends
July 8, 2014
Last seen
June 6, 2011
Joined

NarutoHater's blogs

Comments

 
Mon Mar 05, 2012 09:24 PM +

I took a very similar course in my second year. I'd actually have to agree with pretty much all of what you said. Worst class I have ever taken, although my current Chinese history course is campaigning hard to take that title. I would have to disagree with your #4 though. Philosophy is great if you're going into law. Not for the actual substance of what you learn (that stuff is crap) but for the skills you gain in argumentation and screwing around with abstract principles.

 
 
Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:32 PM +

Wow. You seem to have "learned" more about philosophy than I am in my class.

When it comes to asking "why," I feel like your point is flawed. If asking why makes the argument circular, I'd argue that you're doing it wrong. Science is essentially based on "why," as that is how we answer the questions of life in its more immediate forms (as well as more distant ones, such as the creation of the universe). It's actually why I like science, because I am allowed to ask why and not have the answer to it. Well, that and science is allowed to be wrong (I'm looking at you, religion!).

 
 
Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:15 PM [Edited 2 times ] +

Utilitarianism is bullocks and everyone knows it.
Categorical Imperatives (Kantianism? Don't quite understand why you didn't just say that?) are pretty solid.
Evolutionary psychology doesn't fit into the other two. Namely because it explains why and not what. Kantianism, Libertarianism, and Utilitarianism all serve to question what is right. Not why it is right. Evolutionary psychology being the belief that we act in supposed "moral" ways because it is more evolutionarily advantageous.

It's about questioning thoughts and opinions. Though I'd agree it's more of a hobby than a profession.

@Darkness: There is more than one religion that has a reconciliation clause worked into their doctrine. Addressing religion as a whole is pretty eh. And asking why does make an argument circular. Science is about improving models; not coming to real conclusions.

 
 
Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:42 PM +

Dustin said: @Darkness: There is more than one religion that has a reconciliation clause worked into their doctrine. Addressing religion as a whole is pretty eh. And asking why does make an argument circular. Science is about improving models; not coming to real conclusions.


Meh. In practice, major religions do not back down from their convictions should they be wrong in them. "Thall shalt not ___" doesn't mean much to the religious general public. Of course, I can't speak for EVERY religion, because I simply don't know every religion. (Also, I reserve the right to be biased in my opinion because of my bias in observation.)

I never thought of science in that way. I prefer my science to be right, wrong, inconclusive, or awesome. To put it simply .

P.S. I'm only going through my first test in philosophy, and the teacher is a bit loose/senile (but he's nice, so that's good). Can't say that I'll be learning the same kind of philosophy as you people, but I'll never know.

 
 
Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:00 AM [Edited once ] +

darkness said:
Dustin said: @Darkness: There is more than one religion that has a reconciliation clause worked into their doctrine. Addressing religion as a whole is pretty eh. And asking why does make an argument circular. Science is about improving models; not coming to real conclusions.


Meh. In practice, major religions do not back down from their convictions should they be wrong in them. "Thall shalt not ___" doesn't mean much to the religious general public. Of course, I can't speak for EVERY religion, because I simply don't know every religion. (Also, I reserve the right to be biased in my opinion because of my bias in observation.)

I never thought of science in that way. I prefer my science to be right, wrong, inconclusive, or awesome. To put it simply .

P.S. I'm only going through my first test in philosophy, and the teacher is a bit loose/senile (but he's nice, so that's good). Can't say that I'll be learning the same kind of philosophy as you people, but I'll never know.


Conviction is not innately bad. You're just as stubborn in your belief, right? Would you consider their opinion if it were voiced pleasantly? I don't think so, heh. Most people wouldn't. That's why people reject Mormons as "annoying" when in reality, they actually believe they're helping you. They're doing you the largest favor they think they can. It's an act of kindness and should be treated as such. Polite rejection is better than condescending conjectures. It's good to remain tolerant of religion and those who practice it. Remember the innate respect every human being deserves and continue to act as if you do.

Heh, well, coming from a biologist, I'd recommend you revisit your idea of what science actually is, heh. There is no static in religion and science. Each law, theory and hypothesis is dynamic. There are no certainties.

 
 
Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:22 PM [Edited once ] +

I haven't read the rest of the comments, nor I have completely read your blog, I merely read some parts and skimmed others. I disagree with what I have read.
From what I understand, you dislike philosophy because of something related to Munchhausen Trilemma.
Even though I may not have taken any philosophy courses (though I am forced to this year), I value philosophy because of its historical importance. I really enjoyed the Age of Enlightenment; reading the ideas of Rousseau, Montesquieu, Locke, Voltaire, Bacon, Descartes, etc. We owe our modern society to these and many other people. Although some of these philosophes were not really philosophers, their ideas were important and changed the way we think now.
Studies of economics, politics and many more begin in philosophy.

The fact that you or any other person doesn't like philosophy doesn't matter. The importance of it is incredible.

Sometimes teachers affect the way you look at things. I had a teacher that made me love latin, and others who made me sick of it. If you don't like philosophy because it seems to you that it is too complex, but agree and put interest into it, I suggest that you look into other teachers, with different teaching methods.

 
 
Wed Mar 07, 2012 01:37 AM +

Dustin said:
darkness said:
Dustin said: @Darkness: There is more than one religion that has a reconciliation clause worked into their doctrine. Addressing religion as a whole is pretty eh. And asking why does make an argument circular. Science is about improving models; not coming to real conclusions.


Meh. In practice, major religions do not back down from their convictions should they be wrong in them. "Thall shalt not ___" doesn't mean much to the religious general public. Of course, I can't speak for EVERY religion, because I simply don't know every religion. (Also, I reserve the right to be biased in my opinion because of my bias in observation.)

I never thought of science in that way. I prefer my science to be right, wrong, inconclusive, or awesome. To put it simply .

P.S. I'm only going through my first test in philosophy, and the teacher is a bit loose/senile (but he's nice, so that's good). Can't say that I'll be learning the same kind of philosophy as you people, but I'll never know.


Conviction is not innately bad. You're just as stubborn in your belief, right? Would you consider their opinion if it were voiced pleasantly? I don't think so, heh. Most people wouldn't. That's why people reject Mormons as "annoying" when in reality, they actually believe they're helping you. They're doing you the largest favor they think they can. It's an act of kindness and should be treated as such. Polite rejection is better than condescending conjectures. It's good to remain tolerant of religion and those who practice it. Remember the innate respect every human being deserves and continue to act as if you do.

Heh, well, coming from a biologist, I'd recommend you revisit your idea of what science actually is, heh. There is no static in religion and science. Each law, theory and hypothesis is dynamic. There are no certainties.


Apologies for the belayed response.

And (perhaps because I would consider myself a mentally incompetent person as per the law, if you catch my drift), I would really consider other people's opinions if they were voiced pleasantly. That'd be so much better than the manure-spewing hatred that besiege my ears in mass media. I do have some convictions, you can fault me on that, but I doubt them as much as I retain them (hey, I have to keep some of my sanity).

I never liked the, "but I'm trying to help you!" argument. I'm more of a passive person myself, to give some background. So, I really despise it if someone, say, fluffs my pillow under the presumption that it would help me sleep better, etc. Yes, perhaps they are helping me, and perhaps they have a genuine belief that they are helping me, but in reality, it's no more than stoking a fire that should have never existed.

I am, to the normal extent, tolerant of religion. I have friends and colleagues that range from many religions, though perhaps I should consider expanding my religious knowledge to more obscure ones. Gives a nice range of opinions, which I always find interesting, even if just to argue. But the one thing I never do is tread on their religions; I have my convictions, but crushing others' would not do much good, would it? I just hate those people and commercials and stuff that are always shoving pamphlets and messages down my throat. It's really from that point of view that I argue from (remember, I'm the pessimist here).

True, neither religion nor science are completely static. Religion must adapt to the new, even as it struggles to retain the old. I just don't agree well to those old thoughts, mostly because they are either significantly out of date or otherwise have no right in the mundane of today. Some works, others... eh. Science, science is always fluid, and that's what I like about it. Thing is, science is typically more fluid than religion (you could argue otherwise, there are likely instances where scientists rejected powerful revelations in their fields); science generally has more evidence to discern from than religion, where I often hear very similar, and therefore infer a very simpleton-like, examples.

I feel like we have strayed. But the conversation is quite nice, wouldn't you say?

 
 
Wed Mar 07, 2012 02:58 AM +

darkness said:
Dustin said:
darkness said:
Dustin said: @Darkness: There is more than one religion that has a reconciliation clause worked into their doctrine. Addressing religion as a whole is pretty eh. And asking why does make an argument circular. Science is about improving models; not coming to real conclusions.


Meh. In practice, major religions do not back down from their convictions should they be wrong in them. "Thall shalt not ___" doesn't mean much to the religious general public. Of course, I can't speak for EVERY religion, because I simply don't know every religion. (Also, I reserve the right to be biased in my opinion because of my bias in observation.)

I never thought of science in that way. I prefer my science to be right, wrong, inconclusive, or awesome. To put it simply .

P.S. I'm only going through my first test in philosophy, and the teacher is a bit loose/senile (but he's nice, so that's good). Can't say that I'll be learning the same kind of philosophy as you people, but I'll never know.


Conviction is not innately bad. You're just as stubborn in your belief, right? Would you consider their opinion if it were voiced pleasantly? I don't think so, heh. Most people wouldn't. That's why people reject Mormons as "annoying" when in reality, they actually believe they're helping you. They're doing you the largest favor they think they can. It's an act of kindness and should be treated as such. Polite rejection is better than condescending conjectures. It's good to remain tolerant of religion and those who practice it. Remember the innate respect every human being deserves and continue to act as if you do.

Heh, well, coming from a biologist, I'd recommend you revisit your idea of what science actually is, heh. There is no static in religion and science. Each law, theory and hypothesis is dynamic. There are no certainties.


Apologies for the belayed response.

And (perhaps because I would consider myself a mentally incompetent person as per the law, if you catch my drift), I would really consider other people's opinions if they were voiced pleasantly. That'd be so much better than the manure-spewing hatred that besiege my ears in mass media. I do have some convictions, you can fault me on that, but I doubt them as much as I retain them (hey, I have to keep some of my sanity).

I never liked the, "but I'm trying to help you!" argument. I'm more of a passive person myself, to give some background. So, I really despise it if someone, say, fluffs my pillow under the presumption that it would help me sleep better, etc. Yes, perhaps they are helping me, and perhaps they have a genuine belief that they are helping me, but in reality, it's no more than stoking a fire that should have never existed.

I am, to the normal extent, tolerant of religion. I have friends and colleagues that range from many religions, though perhaps I should consider expanding my religious knowledge to more obscure ones. Gives a nice range of opinions, which I always find interesting, even if just to argue. But the one thing I never do is tread on their religions; I have my convictions, but crushing others' would not do much good, would it? I just hate those people and commercials and stuff that are always shoving pamphlets and messages down my throat. It's really from that point of view that I argue from (remember, I'm the pessimist here).

True, neither religion nor science are completely static. Religion must adapt to the new, even as it struggles to retain the old. I just don't agree well to those old thoughts, mostly because they are either significantly out of date or otherwise have no right in the mundane of today. Some works, others... eh. Science, science is always fluid, and that's what I like about it. Thing is, science is typically more fluid than religion (you could argue otherwise, there are likely instances where scientists rejected powerful revelations in their fields); science generally has more evidence to discern from than religion, where I often hear very similar, and therefore infer a very simpleton-like, examples.

I feel like we have strayed. But the conversation is quite nice, wouldn't you say?


I wanted to section off my response to more thoroughly address your claims so I'm gunna break it down by paragraph.

Paragraph Nombre Une



Would you? That's an admirable trait. I can't speak for your character so I won't. I made the assumption because most people choose to act the victim when confronted with bigotry. You'd also be surprised by how introspective the most devout religious folks are. Recently, I've become really close with Mormons as a whole (supposedly religious zealots) and after attending church with them and such (I'm currently dating one) I can safely say, they're encourage to look inward and address doubt. As is the case with many prominent religions. You can't fault people for conviction after introspection. You can't say the validity of their search is lacking.

Paragraph Nombre Deux



I still don't quite understand why that's their fault? They can't expect to know you and what you respond to. But I'd like to go ahead and address the fact that this paragraph and the last are seemingly contradictory. "I'd listen to their opinions, yet I don't want their help."

And being genuine is fairly important. If people try to help you (even though you don't want it), it's kind of them to do it. Period. You shouldn't treat them like they're some sort of opposition. Never. No one should. It's about respect.

Paragraph Nombre Trois



I'd go so far as to say your disdain for conversion efforts stems from your inability to allow people to express their opinions towards you without you feeling threatened. And "shoved down your throat" is an extremely negative statement. Take it with a grain of salt if you don't want to hear it. I don't get offended every time someone expresses their opinion on, say, my driving. Differing opinions don't always have to lead to arguments.

Paragraph Nombre Quatre



Yet another opinion stemming from the disdain of conviction. Being static does not make a bad thing make. Having beliefs and sticking to them is admirable, even if you don't agree. I'd also like to point out the subjectivity of the claim that they have no place in society. I'd wager on the fact that someone would have a conflicting opinion. There are positive and negative aspects of everything, it's about finding an opportunity cost that you'll allow.

 
 
Wed Mar 07, 2012 03:22 PM +

Dustin said:
I wanted to section off my response to more thoroughly address your claims so I'm gunna break it down by paragraph.

Paragraph Nombre Une



Would you? That's an admirable trait. I can't speak for your character so I won't. I made the assumption because most people choose to act the victim when confronted with bigotry. You'd also be surprised by how introspective the most devout religious folks are. Recently, I've become really close with Mormons as a whole (supposedly religious zealots) and after attending church with them and such (I'm currently dating one) I can safely say, they're encourage to look inward and address doubt. As is the case with many prominent religions. You can't fault people for conviction after introspection. You can't say the validity of their search is lacking.

Paragraph Nombre Deux



I still don't quite understand why that's their fault? They can't expect to know you and what you respond to. But I'd like to go ahead and address the fact that this paragraph and the last are seemingly contradictory. "I'd listen to their opinions, yet I don't want their help."

And being genuine is fairly important. If people try to help you (even though you don't want it), it's kind of them to do it. Period. You shouldn't treat them like they're some sort of opposition. Never. No one should. It's about respect.

Paragraph Nombre Trois



I'd go so far as to say your disdain for conversion efforts stems from your inability to allow people to express their opinions towards you without you feeling threatened. And "shoved down your throat" is an extremely negative statement. Take it with a grain of salt if you don't want to hear it. I don't get offended every time someone expresses their opinion on, say, my driving. Differing opinions don't always have to lead to arguments.

Paragraph Nombre Quatre



Yet another opinion stemming from the disdain of conviction. Being static does not make a bad thing make. Having beliefs and sticking to them is admirable, even if you don't agree. I'd also like to point out the subjectivity of the claim that they have no place in society. I'd wager on the fact that someone would have a conflicting opinion. There are positive and negative aspects of everything, it's about finding an opportunity cost that you'll allow.


First, let's bisect this quote train. It's getting a little hard to read with our combined rate.

Parafo Numero Uno



Perhaps there's a level of ignorance of mine that prevents me from understanding the possibility of introspection of religious people. You're right, that's quite possible, and their convictions would be firm. You'd think those bar-mitzvahs I've been to would have helped that.

Parafo Numero Dos



I apologize for that, there's probably a bit of context to be had. Thing is, there are plenty of contexts in which that "I'm trying to help you" option doesn't work well. It may well be stemming from paranoia (and I've plenty of that, my friend), in which I can consider supposedly friendly acts as threatening (although I still reserve the right to say that some are downright annoying).

I just happen to be in odd situations where people make very incorrect extrapolations and try to help me in that retrospect (very incorrect being pertaining to me). When words come to words, I'm more than glad to take them, but when it comes to actions, sometimes it just doesn't translate well (and I know plenty about screwing up translations).

Parafo Numero Tres



Wouldn't that statement contradict the first paragraph where I said that I'm open to suggestions/opinions/words?

I'm fine with that insofar as you or some other fair bloke or lass might be. I just don't like the more extreme kinds. And sadly, the more extreme kinds are often the more vocal ones.

Yes, "shoved down your throat" can be an extremely negative statement. But since I'm a negative person, that makes more sense than it should, shouldn't it?

Parafo Numero Quatro



Crap, I mangled my words again. That seems to happen a lot.

What I meant to say was that even through religions may transition smoothly through eras, they do tend to carry over doctrines or traditions that don't mingle well. It's not necessarily an individual position, but a societal one, from which I say that. As an individual, I can really care less whether people baptize their children or go hunting for Bigfoot (I'd like to say more terrible things, but that might not bode well). Science (as of late) doesn't have as much of a problem, I'd contend.

Again, I'm a negative person, so I put more weight on the bad stuff (and since these ideas are more arbitrary than they are material, can we really use opportunity cost here?).


I can't help but feel that your dissection of my paragraphs has made them appear contradictory or peculiar.

 

Login or sign up

You must be a member to reply or post. You can sign up or log in if you already have an account.